Families still have time to give their views on proposals to close up to 32 children’s centres as the council try to deal with the biggest budget cuts in their history.
By 2020, the funding the council get from central government is expected to be more than a third less than in 2010.
Despite selling off land and buildings, reducing back office costs and cutting the number of senior managers, the extent of the cuts means they must consider scaling back most of their services.
A consultation on proposals to change the way services are offered to families to try to save £4.3m ends on Monday 4 April 2016.
Services provided at children’s centres include early education and childcare, health services and parenting and family support.
Although 32 centres could be closed, the review would also look at how some of these services could continue to be offered more effectively in the local community by working with health, schools and voluntary organisations.
Under the proposals, 19 children’s centres in some of the county’s most deprived areas would remain open. Alternative uses would be sought for some of the buildings, including expanding our offer of funded nursery places for the three and four-year-olds of working parents.
If the proposals went ahead it could result in the loss of up to 116 full time equivalent staff.
Centres being consulted on for possible closure are:
Chapel en le Frith
Coton in the Elms
Long Eaton (rural)
Chesterfield town centre (Queens Park)
Councillor Jim Coyle, the Cabinet Member for Children’s services, said: “We have had almost 900 responses to our consultation so far and I’d like to thank people for taking part…There’s still time for Derbyshire families to have a say in how services are run for them as the consultation continues until Monday 4 April.” He continued, “We will make every effort to ensure that those families most in need receive services and will work with the voluntary sector to provide others.”
Under the proposals, 19 children’s centres would remain open.
Long Eaton (urban)
Services at Kirk Hallam Children’s Centre would re-locate to Charnos Family Support Centre and staff from Newhall and Sandiacre would be retained to offer services from nearby centres.
Once the consultation has ended all the responses will be looked at and a report will be considered by cabinet in the summer.
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